A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it; It just blooms.
― Zen Shin
Nature gives us so many lessons if only we observe and imbibe in our life. One of my favourite learnings from Nature and the flowers in my garden is – they just grow and bloom next to each other. This inspired me write this blog on comparison and how it affects our self-worth, self-acceptance and our confidence!
The only purpose of these flowers is to bloom into their best version every sunrise and spread happiness through their fragrance, colour and vibrance! Even flowers have different petals and seasons they bloom in. Similarly, I believe the only person we should try to be better than, is who we were yesterday. We tend to constantly compare ourselves with others. We are always bothered about what others think of us. When we see others’ achievements and success, we feel inadequate. This is because we are not sufficiently aware of our own skills, abilities and self-worth.
Most of the times our mind is pre-occupied with the achievements of others and so we tend to ignore our own accomplishments. When we focus on other people, we lose the time that we could otherwise invest in ourselves. It is rightly said, one should not grow grass by focusing on neighbour’s garden.
So, how do we go about being our best self and version and not feeling insecure or inadequate?
Self-acceptance is the key. We must learn to love our past. Your life might have been messy, complex, confused. Everybody’s life has problems and challenges -nothing new in that. But please remember, all the ample of mistakes we make or we have already made in our past, have made us better, wiser and more courageous version of ourselves. By embracing our own story and the way we have grown from it, we should try to change our mindset, our attitude and the direction we take in life. Sounds easy but this is where most of us feel stuck. When this happens, ask yourself, does this thought and mindset help you grow and be your best version?
Our material wealth and peak performances are the basis on which our success is measured. The world looks at us that way. We forget the fact that no two individuals are the same, not even the ones born from the same mother. Then don’t you think we are over-expecting? People are endowed with different gifts in the form of talents. The secret is to identify the talent in us, develop that furthermore and to put them to good use. This process of self-development requires time which we don’t have; because we are busy making comparisons, feeling jealous and wallowing in self-pity!
Serving others is another way of overcoming the tendency to make comparisons. When we serve others, we focus on our strengths, as we need to offer that to others as well. Therefore, service increases our value, both in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. When we serve, we do not focus on the accomplishments of others. We need to concentrate on our own talents and abilities so that we can reach out to them in the best possible way.
In today’s world, social media is a popular and bigger platform for news and views. Social media often makes us restless, unable to perceive the reality of our own lives. We are challenged daily to discover our own unique path in life. The only healthy way to compete and make comparisons is when we try to improve our own performance by looking at others who have achieved much. Social media can become a great source of inspiration, but if you take it in the right way.
This world is all about cut-throat competition. Everybody wants to be in the first place. The world thrives on competition. In the process of achieving success, people do make comparisons; the consequence of the comparison made, depicts whether that comparison is your biggest enemy or best friend. We compare our real picture with someone’s Instagram picture and lose the confidence in us; totally unfair isn’t it? We just want to see other’s success but we don’t pay heed to the hard work and struggle they have gone through to reach this place. Turn this comparison to your inspiration.Let it not be your enemy or a hindrance to your success. Comparison should become your best friend. Let’s use the high standards set by others as a benchmark to improve our own act. If this happens, the comparisons made will work wonders. Would you agree?
Recognize your own potential, strive for a better version of yourself, improve the quality of your actions, never lose the confidence in you, compare yourself with others only if it’s a door opener or an inspiration and not if it’s dooming you down. If nothing works, just focus on comparing you with yourself—That’s magical! Aim on becoming a better version of yourself each day and your job is done. Don’t waste your time and energy in others. Instead; invest that in yourself, water your own grass and garden and you will see the power! Believe in yourself and move ahead with a SMILE:)and think about your self-talk as the quote by Marisa Peer highlights, “The most important words that you say in your life are the words you say to yourself.”
When we constantly compare ourselves with others, it affects our self-image and the way we see ourselves (self-confidence) which in turn affects our image as a whole.
Ways to avoid comparing yourself and feeling inadequate:
- Identify your strengths and play to the strengths
- Practice Gratitude
- Practice meditation in any form to stay in the present moment
- Seek new experiences and keep learning
- Seek feedback
- Read/Listen to inspiring stories
- Break down your goals into everyday actionable tasks
- Celebrate success – however small
- Believe in yourself and your unique talents
- Focus on things within your control
- Do things that bring you happiness
Quote 1: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1135747-a-flower-does-not-think-of-competing-to-the-flower